First I made the fake parmesan: I fried some breadcrumbs with olive oil and garlic, and a little salt. This is also called 'poor people parmesan' in Italy, it is actually traditional for some pasta courses, and actually preferred to parmesan for some dishes, like this one.
When the breadcrumbs were golden I put them aside and used the same saucepan to cook the broccolini (no rinsing of the pot required, just add a little more olive oil and fresh garlic). Fresh broccolini need very little cooking, even less than broccoli, I just sautéed them with olive oil and garlic, and a pinch of salt, then turned the heat off, put the lid on the pot for a few minutes, and the remaining heat did the rest of the cooking. You need a pot with a good lid!
In the meantime I cooked the orecchiette in plenty of salted boiling water. I followed the packet instructions for this, as different manufacturers seem to have different timing and orecchiette are usually more 'crunchy' than other types of pasta.
Once ready I drained them and placed them in the pot with the broccolini, I stirred and then topped everything with the fried breadcrumbs.
A chilli can also be added to the broccolini for a hotter taste.
The broccolini are from my garden :-)
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©